Hollywood is arguably the most famous city in the world and each year, millions upon millions of people come to Los Angeles to see the stars. Below are some of the top picks of things to do and see in Hollywood CA to get the true Hollywood experience.
Known for its glamour in the TV and movie industry, the Hollywood neighborhood of Los Angeles has its history permanently etched in the sidewalks with famous hand prints, foot prints and stars on the Walk of Fame. Remnants of film and movies from costumes, props and various other memorabilia are exhibited in multiple museums.
Where to PLAY: Although the biggest attraction in Hollywood is the entertainment industry, the nightlife, fine dining, theatres, and music venues provide for limitless options during your visit.
- The Hollywood Sign – What Everyone Comes to See
There are tons of places to take pics of the Hollywood sign, but one of the best and easiest is at the viewing bridge at the Hollywood & Highland complex next to the Chinese Theatre.
- The Hollywood Walk of Fame – The Stars on the Pavement
The stars are all lined up along Hollywood Boulevard and Vine Street. See if you can find all your favorite actors, singers, celebrities and radio personalities.
- The TCL Chinese Theatre – Home of World Premiere’s
Opened in 1927, the Chinese Theatre has been home to the most prominent red carpet movie premieres and special events. The forecourt of the theatre is where you can find hand and footprints of your favorite stars from past to present.
- Hollywood & Highland Center
The Hollywood and Highland Center is adjacent to the TCL Chinese Theatre. Here you can shop, eat, play and more as you explore the Babylon Courtyard and walk the Road to Hollywood public art walk and view the Hollywood sign from the bridge. Right out front are some of the most popular stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
- Madame Tussauds Hollywood
Madame Tussauds is a wax museum next to the Chinese Theatre that is different than the Hollywood Wax Museum down the street. Here you can take pics with your favorite film, cinema, sports star or music idol.
- El Capitan Theatre
The El Capitan Theatre is a great place to see a Disney movie with kids. Each movie is accompanied with either live character performances, prop exhibits or interactive exhibits.
- Hard Rock Café Hollywood
Located in the Hollywood & Highland Center, the Hard Rock Café is an international museum of Rock ‘n’ Roll memorabilia including Eddie Van Halen’s red and white Kramer guitar and Michael Jackson’s Black Fedora.
- Pantages Theatre
The Pantages Theatre is near the corner of Hollywood & Vine and is where top Broadway touring shows and musicals are performed. It is one of Hollywood’s great landmarks with its stunning Art Deco design.
- Dolby Theatre Tour
Take a tour of the Dolby Theatre if you want to stand on the very stage where so many famous actors and actresses accept their Academy Awards.
- Hollywood Museum at the Max Factor Building
The Hollywood Museum in the Max Factor Building is also known as the Hollywood History Museum. This is where some of the best collections of movie memorabilia are found. From the silent screen to present day. They have numerous Marilyn Monroe items on display, Rocky Balboa’s boxing gloves, Elvis’ bathrobe, Cary Grant’s Rolls Royce and much, much more.
- Hollywood Guitar Center – The Rock Walk
The Guitar Center is located on Sunset Boulevard and just like the forecourt of the TCL Chinese Theatre, the Rock Walk is a courtyard of hand prints of famous musicians.
- Sightseeing Bus Tour in Hollywood
If you want to see more of Hollywood and Los Angeles, I highly suggest you getting on one of those sightseeing tours. My favorite is the big red double decker bus that allows you to hop on and hop off at various destinations. There is also a tour of the homes of the Movie Stars that is pretty cool.
- Runyon Canyon Hike
You can hike Runyon Canyon from by using the South entrance, which is walking distance from the Hollywood Walk of Fame. At the top you’ll have a spectacular view of the city of Angels below. You may even run into some celebrities. The more popular they are the more head gear such as hats and dark sunglasses they will have.
- The Hollywood Bowl
The Hollywood Bowl sits in the largest natural amphitheater in the U.S. It has hosted some of the greatest musical talents in the world and continues to do so each summer. Definitely try catching a concert there if you can.
- Griffith Observatory
The Griffith Observatory is a few minutes drive from Hollywood Boulevard, but is a great spot to catch the views of the city below both during the day and at night.
- Universal Studios Hollywood & Universal CityWalk
Universal Studios is a movie based theme park and the location where many of the popular movies and shows you watch are filmed. The adjacent CityWalk is a popular shopping and entertainment area with restaurants, bars, shops and movie theaters.
Where to STAY: With the abundance of tourism in Hollywood, there is no shortage of hotels you can choose from, but if you’re like me, you want to be in the middle of all the action and within walking distance of most of the attractions. Here are 3 different hotels you can choose from depending on what you are looking for.
- The Hollywood Roosevelt
The Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel is probably the most iconic and famous hotel along Hollywood Boulevard and is located directly across the TCL Chinese Theatre and the Hollywood Highland Complex. If you’re looking for some history and want to stay in a hotel where the likes of Marilyn Monroe, Charlie Chaplin, Clark Gable, Carole Lombard and others have stayed, this is it!!!
- The W Hotel Hollywood
The W Hollywood Hotel is at the famous intersection of Hollywood and Vine and adjacent to the Metro Subway station. This is a luxury hotel with a hip vibe. They have a rooftop pool and an area near the lobby called the Living Room where you can have appetizers and sip on your favorite signature cocktails.
- Loews Hollywood Hotel
The Loews Hollywood Hotel is directly adjacent and behind the Hollywood Highland Complex. It too offers a rooftop pool with Cabanas. You can ask for a room with a view of the Hollywood sign or Hollywood Boulevard.
Where to EAT: I’m guessing if you’re planning a trip to Hollywood, you want to take in as much of the history as possible. There are a number of restaurants that recall Hollywood’s glory and remain famous sites, both for their history and for their clientele.
- Musso and Frank Grille
Opened in 1919, Musso and Frank is the oldest and most well know restaurant in Hollywood. Many of the elite and celebrities have dined here on their famous red leather booths and bar stools.
- Pig ‘N Whistle
The Pig ‘N Whistle has been around since the 1920’s. It is located next to the Egyptian Theatre with its elegant art nouveaux façade. The restaurant played host to the first ever Oscars party and thereby became a popular dining and drinking spot.
- Pink’s Hot Dogs
Located at the corner of La Brea and Melrose, Pink’s has been around since 1939. It is so famous that there is always a line around the clock. They offer specialty dogs named after their celebrity clientele such as Martha Stewart, Rosie O’Donnell and Ozzy Osbourne.
- Yamashiro Hollywood
Yamashiro means “Mountain Palace” in Japanese. The restaurant sits 250 feet above Hollywood Boulevard and was originally built as a hilltop mansion to house priceless Asian treasures. It is now a world famous dining spot that has been in many famous movies and hosted Hollywood premieres.